The Philadelphia Union scrap late 1-1 draw at Red Bulls after a catastrophic turn of events. The Result proves that Philly will fight for every point in every match no matter the circumstance. While the catastrophe that the Union suffered was again self-inflicted, they managed to pull themselves up and split points with New York.
10-man Union scrap late draw at Red Bulls
Philadelphia came into this match with a huge opportunity to move up the standings. A win at rivals New York Red Bulls would mean that they would have lept into second place in the east. They’d only be two points behind first place as well. Alas, the Union could not find the W, but they did secure a point that looked like they would not get.
Back and forth 1st half
The Union started this match, with Dániel Gazdag at striker, and Matt Freese in goal for their two Jamaican internationals Cory Burke and Andre Blake. The Union’s Jamaican players were off with their national team preparing for the upcoming Gold Cup. For Philly, the changed XI did well and did something they haven’t done in the last two matches. Philly didn’t concede inside the first three minutes and looked very good in their attack in the young stages of the match. Early on it looked like the combination of Monteiro, Przybylko, and Gazdag was going to pay off.
Not even 10 minutes into the match the Union had an amazing opportunity. Gazdag was played in on goal, but unfortunately, his attempt on goal was stopped. Should Gazdag pick up his head he had two players making runs in the box that he could have squared the ball to for a better look at goal. He tried to score his first goal for the Union and got stoned. As the match went on, Red Bulls got more comfortable in their attack as well.
The New York Red Bulls were suffering from a plethora of injuries, their main strength was from their midfield fining their strike pair Fábio and Patryk Klimala. They created the Red Bulls lone big chance of the match in the first half. Klimala was played in on goal, but the on-rushing Matt Freese stopped the attempt and kept the match at 0-0.
As the half went on, both sides fought to find the goal that wouldn’t come. Since both teams played the same type of style, the pace of the match was frantic. The main key to finding an opener was going to come from whose midfield could play better. This proved to be the main reason why there was no goal in the first half. AS the match rolled to halftime, it felt like a goal would soon come in the second half.
Union go down 1-0 and to 10 men after red card
The Union and Red Bulls came out in the second half with the same blazing pace of play. The Union almost scored just minutes into the half, but it would be Red Bull who would eventually find the opening goal. 12 minutes into the half the Union had the ball in their own half. Jakob Glesnes played a sloppy ball back to goalkeeper Matt Freese. Freese tried to play the ball around an onrushing Carmona but he ended up pulling the Red Bulls player to get a better advantage. This was a denial of a goal-scoring opportunity and a red cad.
Not only did this mean Philly was down a man, but it was their goalkeeper, and it also happened in their own box. Philly had to burn a sub bringing on backup keeper Bendik for attacker Gazdag. It also gifted Red Bulls a penalty. Patryk Klimala stepped up and slotted the effort calmly past Joe Bendik. Red Bulls had the lead and a man advantage with 30 minutes left to play. Unlike Union teams of old, this Philadelphia team did not give up.
Smart play finds late equalizer
For the final 30 minutes Union coach Jim Curtin played a 4-3-2 formation, with strikers Kacper Przybylko and Sergio Santos pushing for an equalizer. This was an interesting tactic. Usually, teams down a man looking to have one speedy striker or a false nine up top with more midfielders to better spring a counterattack. For 25 minutes this tactic seemed to fall flat. Then the Union acted quickly and smartly.
After a challenge from Red Bulls John Tolkin, the Union won a throw-in. The challenge left Tolkin worse-for-wear, but he rolled off the pitch allowing the Union to play quickly. Bedoya threw the ball in quickly to Mbaizo, who picked his head up and swung a hopeful ball into the box. Sergio Santos was the only Union player in the area for the header. He rose up and won it. The contact wasn’t the best, but the placement was spot on. His attempt hit the bottom corner of the post and went in. Philly found their equalizer with five minutes left.
The Union scrap late 1-1 draw. The Union willed their way to a point. This is definitely impressive; however, the mistake that led to the Red Bulls’ goal can easily be corrected. The Union now has set a trend of self-inflicted lapses that lead to opposition goals. They will need to correct this if they actually want to move higher than third place in the east.
Where does Philly go from here? What’s next after the Union scrap late 1-1 draw? Philadelphia will be without goalkeeper Matt Freese and midfielder Jamiro Monteiro next week at home vs DC United. This is a huge blow as both would b starters in that match. It now leaves the door open for other players to step up and take advantage of the opportunity. Philly will need that to happen should they want to get their first win in four matches.
Philadelphia has had a rough go of it over the last three weeks. Getting two points from a possible nine on a three-game road trip is less than ideal. There have been silly mistakes in all of these matches, but luckily for Philly, they are still hanging around the top of the eastern conference. After the match, Union head coach Jim Curtin mentioned the importance of road draws and stated that they are just “a winning streak away from the top of the conference .”
This much is true. New England and Orlando have both dropped points over their last two matches. The Union sits just one point behind Orlando for second place and four points behind New England for first place. The matches this summer are coming hot and heavy for all of the teams in MLS. The answer to the question of what now won’t be answered until we get through these dog days of summer. This continues with a home match against DC United next Saturday for Philadelphia.
Be sure to come back to Philly Sports Network for more Philadelphia Union and other soccer content!
Follow our Union team on Twitter:
Doop on Union fans!
Mandatory Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire